The evolution of the local role(s) of the university in a low-tech region

Francisco Javier Ortega-Colomer
International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development

The present case study addresses the case of a geographical area neglected by most of the literature about the changing role of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs): the low-tech contexts. This literature has traditionally exhibited two primary aspects. First, a focus on success stories such as entrepreneurial universities located in high-tech regions (e.g. Silicon Valley). Second, it reveals an inclination towards an evolution from ivory towers to entrepreneurial universities. The article argues that this oversimplification does not apply exactly to some environments where the HEIs have maintained links with industry since their inception. The purpose is to demonstrate HEIs’ relevance in low-tech contexts with a pre-eminence of small and medium enterprises by taking a historical and qualitative perspective.